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Research and Project Methodologies (I)

Code: DIMIII     Acronym: DIMIII

Classification Keyword

Instance: 2022/2023 - 2S

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Design
Course/CS Responsible: Master in Image Design

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
MDI 18 Plano de Estudos do MDI_Publicação em DR de 03/11/2016 1 - 6 45 162

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Heitor Manuel Pereira Pinto da Cunha e Alvelos

Teaching - Hours

Theoretical classes: 3,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Theoretical classes Totals 1 3,00
Heitor Manuel Pereira Pinto da Cunha e Alvelos 3,00

Teaching language

Suitable for English-speaking students


Providing an added understanding of the premises, expectations and procedures of the scientific universe.

Providing students with strujcturing knowledge associated with research practice.

Providing students with structuring skills associated with research practice.

Focus on applied research that will revert towards projects to be developed, as well as research models that may be adopted by others in the future.

Adopting hybrid methodological approaches, according to the projects at stake.

Creating a forum on emerging paradigms of research in design, visual culture and image.

Acquisition of competences in formatting and structuring research documents.

Learning outcomes and competences

Lab and ethnographic research skills.

Scientific communication skills: clarity, sinthesis, dynamics.

Full knowledge of terminology and parameters of scientific dissemination.

Working method



This unit is defined as a forum of reflection and rehearsal of emerging paradigms on the areas of design, visual culture and the image. It is acknowledged that many of these paradigms are currently under revelation and have not yet gathered a consensus within an international community, thus providing an expanded field of possibilities of reflection and action. The unit will therefore identify, test and adopt research methods that revert towards student projects, as well as projects that may be adopted in the future.

The identification of methodological paradigms associated with design research cannot occur without a broad knowledge of the various methodologies associated with the various scientific areas. The unit will therefore open up the possibility of constructing hybrid methodological approaches, as effective ways of addressing the complexity of the universes under study.

The unit proposes the grounding of project-based activity on a wealth of consensual structures of debate and communication. It will, however, claim its autonomous space through the development of a culture of ideas, an expanded field of conceptual possibilities.

The unit will also incorporate the scope of opractical information regarding the formal aspects in the production of research documents.

Mandatory literature

Laurel Brenda 340; Design research. ISBN: 978-0-262-12263-4
Lupton Ellen; Design writing research. ISBN: 0-7148-3851-9
Pink Sarah; Doing visual ethnography. ISBN: 978-1-4129-2348-4
Allison, Brian. ; An Introduction to Research. , Leicester: ARIAD Associates, 1993
Archer, Bruce.; The Nature of Research. in Co-design, interdisciplinary journal of design, 1995
Banks, M.; Visual Methods in Social Research., London: Sage, 2001
Bryman, Alan.; Social Research Methods., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001
Buchanan, R. ; Design and the New Rhetoric: Productive Arts in the Philosophy of Culture., Philosophy and Rhetoric Vol 34, n.º 3, 197., 2001
Buchanan, Richard, and Victor Margolin.; Discovering Design., Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1995
Clarke, Michael.; Verbalising the Visual: Translating Art and Design into Words., London: AVA., 2007
Davies, Martin Brett.; Doing a Successful Research Project: using qualitative or quantitative methods., New York: Palgrave., 2007
Dawson, Catherine.; Introduction to Research Methods., Oxford: How To Books., 2009
Ferrell, Jeff, and Mark S. Hamm (eds.).; Ethnography at the Edge: Crime, Deviance and Field Research., Boston: Northeastern University Press., 1998
Frascara, Jorge.; User-Centred Graphic Design., Bristol: Taylor & Francis., 1997
Frayling, Christopher.; Research in Art and Design., London: Royal College of Art. , 1993
Guerrini, Luca (ed.); Notes on Doctoral Research in Design, Milan: Politecnico di Milano, 2010
Julier, G.; The culture of design, London: SAGE, 2000
Koshinen, Ilpo, et al.; Design Research Through Practice: from the lab, field, and showroom., Waltham: Morgan Kaufmann, 2011
Leedy, Paul D., and Jeanne Ellis Ormrod; Practical Research: Planning and Design, Prentice Hall, 1993
McKenzie, Jamie; How Teachers Learn Technology Best, Bellingham: FNO Press , 1999
Margolin, Victor; The Politics of the Artificial: Essays on Design and Design Studies, University of Chicago Press, 2002
Nealon, Jeffrey, and Susan Searls Giroux; The Theory Toolbox: Critical Concepts for the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, Plymouth: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005
Noble, Ian, and Russell Bestley; Visual Research: An Introduction to Research Methodologies in Graphic Design, London: Ava Publishing, 2005
Poggenpohl, Sharon.; A Map of Design Culture (adapted from Hall and Trager's "Map of Culture" - The Silent Language, 1959). Workshop notes for Edmonton '95, Charting the Future of Design Education., Edmonton: University of Alberta, 1995
Rudestam, Kjell Erik and Rae R. Newton; Surviving Your Dissertation: a comprehensive guide to content and process, London: Sage, 2001

Teaching methods and learning activities

Classes will take place through the application of three distinct (yet articulated) scientific and pedagogical approaches:

1 - Analysis and articulation of methodological paradigms from distinct areas of knowledge.

2 - Definition of methodologies that may be specific to arts and design, as well as their reversion to specific projects.

3 - Production of common documentation, witness to the work developed, and a scientific and pedagocgical contribution to research in art/design/visual communication.

The sharing of knowledge will be non-hierarchical. The volume of relevant information dictates that students engage in the sharing of mutual information, as well as continuous and reciprocal filtering. The teachers will be, first and foremost, moderators and facilitators of an individual learning path, simultaneously anchored in own research and shared experience.


endnote (facultativo)
editor de texto
web browser

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation without final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Participação presencial 10,00
Trabalho de campo 40,00
Trabalho escrito 50,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Elaboração de projeto 9,00
Estudo autónomo 9,00
Frequência das aulas 39,00
Trabalho de campo 9,00
Trabalho de investigação 9,00
Total: 75,00

Eligibility for exams

Fulfilment of two briefings provided in class

Calculation formula of final grade

(10 x X) + (40 x Y) + (50 x Z) / 100
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